Obituaries

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Sr. Susanne Hofweber

Educator

Adrian Dominican Sister Susanne (Elizabeth) Hofweber, 97, died Aug. 27 in Adrian, Michigan. 

Born in Detroit, she was in her 80th year of religious life. She ministered in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. She also was executive director of the National Conference Diocesan DRE-CCD for six years, and for two years was the national program director for St. Vincent Center of Apostolic Development, both located in Washington, D.C. 

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at St. Kilian (1938-1939), St. Nicholas of Tolentine (1939-1940) and St. Carthage (1940-1941).

Sister Susanne is survived by her sister, Marian Zeleznik, and her brother, August J. (Jack) Hofweber.

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Sr. Mary Ellen Caldwell

Educator

BVM Sister Mary Ellen Caldwell, 97, died Aug. 22 in Dubuque, Iowa.

She was born in Milwaukee. She entered the BVM congregation in 1938 and professed final vows in 1946.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Mary Ellen taught at St. Vincent School. She also ministered in Kansas, Iowa and Ghana.

She is survived by her sister, Helen Smith, and her brothers Jesuit Father Thomas Caldwell and Joseph Kerwin Caldwell.

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Sr. Mary Terese Rink

Educator, clerk

BVM Sister Mary Terese (Lumina) Rink, 88, died Aug. 13 in Dubuque, Iowa. 

Born in Iowa, she entered the BVM congregation in 1951 and professed final vows in 1959.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Mary Terese taught secondary school at Immaculata High School, and Delano, Froebel and Dunbar high schools. At the University of Illinois Medical Center, she served in clerical work, as coordinator for the Disabled Children’s Program and as a case manager. She also served in Tennessee and Iowa.

She is survived by her sisters Margery Petrzelka, Helen Mangrum and Katie Cahalan.

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Sr. M. Blanche Zalewski

Educator, pastoral care provider

Holy Family of Nazareth Sister M. Blanche (Stephanie) Zalewski, 92, died July 27 at Nazarethville in Des Plaines.

Born in Chicago, she was baptized at Holy Trinity Church. She entered the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in 1943 and became a novice that same year. Following her first profession of vows in 1945, Sister Blanche began teaching at St. Hedwig School. 

She professed her perpetual vows in 1951. For 43 years, Sister Blanche taught in the Chicago area; in Marayong, Australia; and later in Texas and North Dakota.

From 1988 until 2009, she ministered in pastoral care at St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital in Chicago.

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Deacon Herbert F. Drazba

Class of 1975

Deacon Herbert F. Drazba, 83, of Dolton, died Aug. 27. He was ordained in 1975 and served at St. Jude the Apostle Parish in South Holland.

He was a U.S. Army veteran, scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 706 and a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus Genoa Council.

He was married to his late wife, Dorothy, for 57 years.

He is survived by his children Michael, Thomas and Therese Drazba; his grandchildren Christopher, Scott, Dawn, Samantha and Rebecca Drazba and Walter Smith; one great-grandchild; his brother, Walter Drazba; and his sister, Dominican Sister Eunice Drazba.

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Sr. Mary McGovern

Educator

BVM Sister Mary C. (Clemento) McGovern, 97, died Aug. 15 in Dubuque, Iowa.

Born in Iowa, she entered the BVM congregation in 1937 and professed final vows in 1945.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Mary taught music at St. Gilbert, Grayslake; St. Eulalia, Maywood; and St. Jerome. She also ministered in Wyoming and Iowa.

Sr. Rita Mary Ganser

Educator, health care, spiritual services

Resurrection Sister Rita Mary Ganser, 75, died July 26 at Resurrection Life Center. 

Born in Chicago, she was baptized at Annunciation Parish. She was received into the Congregation of the Sisters of the Resurrection in 1955 and pronounced her final vows in 1964.

Sister Rita Mary taught for 26 years at St. Mary of the Angels, St. Casimir and St. Thecla. She also taught at St. Bede, Ingleside, as well as in Florida and Alabama.

Sister Rita Mary served as the director of religious education at St. Mary of the Angels Parish (1986-1991). In 1995, Sister Rita Mary started a career in pastoral care in health care, serving at Resurrection Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for 16 years. More recently, she volunteered there, coordinating and scheduling the ministers of care and other volunteers.

She is survived by a brother, William.

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Deacon James Gallagher

Class of 1992

Deacon James Francis Gallagher, 93, died Aug. 6. He was ordained in 1992 and served at St. James Parish, Highwood.

He was born in Highland Park, where he met and was married to his wife, Dorothy, for 69 years. 

He was a World War II veteran, having served as a sergeant in the Air Force 71st Bombardment Squadron – Wolf Pack.

He is survived by his children Jamie, Cindy and Michael Gallagher; his grandchildren Michael and Mark Gallagher and his great-grandchild Jules.

Fr. Daniel J. Sullivan

Former pastor

Father Daniel Sullivan, 91, died Aug. 16 at Holy Family Villa in Palos Park. He had been pastor at St. Gerard Majella Parish, Markham, until his retirement in 1996. 

A Chicago native, Father Sullivan attended Resurrection School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary before being ordained in 1953. 

He was assistant pastor of Mary Queen of Heaven Parish, Cicero (1953-1960); assistant pastor of St. Eulalia Parish, Maywood (1960-1965); assistant pastor of St. Sabina Parish (1965-1971); and assistant pastor of St. Agnes Parish, Chicago Heights (1971-1977).

In 1977, Father Sullivan was named pastor of St. Gerard Majella Parish, Markham, and served in that role until retiring in 1996.

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Fr. John Tilford

Associate pastor

Father John Edward Tilford, 76, died Aug. 14, at Palos Community Hospital in Palos Heights. He had been associate pastor at St. Michael the Archangel Parish until he retired in 2014.

Born in Chicago, he attended St. Laurence School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary North and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary before being ordained in 1966. 

He later earned a master’s degree in social work from Loyola University Chicago.

He served as assistant pastor of St. Thomas of Canterbury (1966-1971) and assistant pastor of St. Maria Goretti, Schiller Park (1974-1978), before being named and pastor of St. Bridget (1981-1990). In 1990, Father Tilford was named pastor of St. Michael the Archangel and served in that role until stepping down to associate pastor in 2004 and retiring in 2014.

In addition to serving Catholics in parishes around the archdiocese, Father Tilford was the area chaplain for Catholic Scouts in 1968, an assistant administrator at Angel Guardian Orphanage (1971-1974) and an assistant executive director at Maryville Academy (1978-1981). Father Tilford was known for his work with underprivileged youth and young adults, especially within Hispanic communities.

Father Tilford is survived by his sister, Mary Boettcher.

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